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Council / Councillor keeps ‘banging the drum’ for more speed limits

SNP councillor Robbie McGregor.

SOUTH END councillor Robbie McGregor has once again raised the issue of why people are allowed to drive at speeds of 60 miles per hour through Quarff when many villages on the Scottish mainland enjoy 20mph speed limits these days.

McGregor’s intervention came during a meeting of Shetland transport partnership ZetTrans on Thursday where the implementation of two “active travel” monitoring projects, at Tresta and Lerwick’s Sound Brae, was discussed.

The projects, due to get underway once electricity has been connected to monitoring equipment in the coming weeks, will assess how people’s active travel behaviour has changed since the pandemic.

For this so-called “trial intervention” to happen the speed limits on stretches of the A970 and the A971 will be reduced with the help of a temporary traffic restriction order.

McGregor asked whether there were plans, and financial resources, to “implement this experiment in other areas”.

“I just wonder after several days south I noticed all over West Lothian and Edinburgh there are 20 miles per hour speed limits in the smallest hamlets and yet we are still faced with 60mph in Quarff and 50mph in Cunningsburgh,” the SNP councillor said.

“Please forgive me for bringing this up at every opportunity but I am really concerned about this.

“My wife and I are regular walkers with the dogs in Quarff and traffic goes by at some speed. I am more concerned for bairns going to the school bus than for my own safety, but I will keep returning to this, I promise.”

Chairman Ryan Thomson said “prevention is better than cure” and encouraged him to “keep banging that drum”.

Transport lead officer Michael Craigie said his department would be undertaking “settlement audits” for a number of villages such as Cunningsburgh, Brae and Voe over coming months, which will all look at changes in road use, including speed limits, to allow people to feel safer when walking or cycling.

“There is more to come in the next few months,” he assured the Shetland South councillor.